Transition

Hello everyone! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

In a few hours it will be 2019. How are you feeling? Are you excited? I am grateful for the opportunity to be alive, because it means God is not done with my life or yours. However, I am also uncertain about what the New Year will bring.

The last two years of my life have been full of transition. In the beginning, it was marvelous, joyous and amazing. However, the second half was filled with uncertainty, pain, and loneliness. I never knew that transition ordained by God could cause so much pain.

When God is doing something new in us, we are excited about it. But we only want the good parts. The parts that won’t hurt or cause us to change. But the hard part is what God uses to transition us into the person He desires us to be.

I began to ponder on the process of transition and God brought the birth process to my mind. When a woman finds out she’s pregnant, it is a time of joy (most times). During the first trimester, she may experience nausea, but other than it is glorious. She has her first ultrasound, hears the heartbeat, and finds out the sex. It is exciting.

The second trimester brings little discomfort. The baby is constantly growing. You feel flutters and kicking, all while enjoying this perfect gift from God. You have cravings and don’t feel as guilty about eating the foods you want (Well, I didn’t 😊).

The third trimester, for most women, is the time of their greatest discomfort. You may have some fear as you don’t know what it will be like as the birthing process for each woman is different. Your extremities may be swollen. You are tired of carrying the extra weight. You are tired. Your belly is big and heavy. It is hard to sleep. You are ALWAYS using the facilities. The baby is continuously moving, because he or she is running out of space. Not long after, a woman’s water breaks and the real work begins.

It is during this process most women want it to be over. The pain…oh the pain. You are excited to meet your baby and you have been waiting for this moment. However, during this time, the pain you experience is at its highest peak. All this is happening while your blessing is arriving. And this is exactly what transition is. The process is joyous, uncomfortable, painful, and then joyful again.

John 16:21 – “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”

My transition is still very uncomfortable, and I want it to be over. But I am learning that when things are most painful, it means I am close to the finish line. It means my blessing is near.

Just because the clock turns twelve does not mean all of our problems will suddenly disappear. It does not mean your transition is over. Nor does it mean if things are good right now, it won’t change as the New Year begins. As we continue to walk with Christ, we will always be in a state of transition. I encourage you to keep going and NEVER give up. Have faith, cry, shout, pray, and cry some more if you must, but continue moving forward in Christ. Your blessing is coming…the promise is coming.

Romans 8:18 – I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

As we end 2018, I want to leave my favorite scripture with you:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Happy New Year! No matter where you find yourself, God has great things in store for YOU! See you next year!

Darlene

 

Deliverance at the Root

For healing and deliverance to occur, it must be plucked up from the root. However, I have learned that most people do not realize there is a root at all.

Many months ago, I watched a documentary about our U.S. prison system. It was one of the most heartbreaking documentaries I EVER saw. My heart broke as I watched it. All I could do was cry and pray.  What made it worse was the documentary was about women prisoners.

One female prisoner touched my heart. She said she began committing crimes at age seven. She spent most of her life in prison. She said while in prison she felt “safe and respected.” I thought, “What happened in her childhood that caused her to act this way?” Then the same question I thought about her, I asked myself. And it brought me back to my childhood.

Growing up, I could not trust women (and I am still apprehensive sometimes). For me, it was difficult to get close to women. After many years of feeling this way, I decided it was time to open myself up. Unfortunately, I felt hurt and betrayed when women that I admired turned out to be the opposite of what they portrayed.

Truth is, these feelings came from the experiences I had with my mother. As much as I wanted a relationship with her, it could not happen. She could not be what I needed her to be. Instead of seeking God about my pain, I unknowingly put that burden on other women. I expected them to be what I needed instead of seeking God. After this issue continued to resurface, I realized I had to deal with the root. I asked God to help me and he did, but the process was slow because the roots were deep. This was one of many areas I needed healing.

The difference between myself and the women in the documentary is I had an opportunity to deal with my roots.  Most of the women have not come to terms with their own root issues and some never will. Although the women are serving time in prison for the crime they committed outwardly, they are serving another sentence for their inward bondage. What hurt most was their greatest need is healing, yet there is a possibility that healing will never come…so I pray.

My question to you is…Have you gotten to the root of your issue? Do you know why you do what you do? Is there something from your past that you are still holding onto? Are you holding onto something God told you to release, yet you will not let it go? Are you holding onto unforgiveness? Past pain? Mistakes? Issues with your parent(s)? Do you repeat negative behaviors?

Contrary to what the world believes or what we think, the only way to deal with negative roots in our lives is through prayer and the Word of God. The Word of God is what penetrates the heart and the heart and soul is where all of our issues lie. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Today I encourage and challenge you to expose the negative roots in your life to the Lord. He is the only person that can go deep enough to extract it out.

Prayer,
Father, I ask that you show me the areas of my heart and soul that are not rooted in deep pain. Help me to be healed and set free which is your will for me. Forgive me for the times you showed me those areas, but I refused to let you in those places of my heart. God, I repent, and I give you full access to my heart, mind, and emotions. You are a good God who has great plans for my life. Thank you for another chance to submit my life to you. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.

Blessings.

Scriptures
Hebrews 4:12
Jeremiah 29:11
Exodus 15:26

 

A Letter to my Dad…A Letter to My Father (very long post)

Hello all!

I pray you are well, and you enjoyed your weekend. Today’s blog post is a bit different from ones I have written previously. I wrote this in June, read it over and saved it. But three weeks ago, I opened it and felt led to make it a blog post. I did not want to, but I felt strongly that I should. So here goes…

If you are reading this post, I want you to know that God loves you. He hears your cries for healing and deliverance in whatever area you need it.  God is always near to us, even when he is silent. God desires you to be healed and whole. But we must follow His plan to obtain healing.

…“If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I AM the LORD, who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Dad,

It is your daughter Darlene. It has been several years since we last spoke. I want to talk to you, but since I do not know where you are, I decided to write. The first time we spoke was over the phone; it was in 1998. I was eighteen, so nervous, but excited. I am sure you do not remember, but the first thing you said to me was “Don’t get pregnant.” After you said it, I did not want to continue our conversation because I was already pregnant. I thought you would not accept me, so I never told you. We continued the conversation for a couple more minutes and you told me I had brothers and sisters, but I was your oldest daughter. I was excited to learn I had other siblings. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet them and that was the last time we spoke…twenty years ago.

I am now thirty-nine and a few months ago, I discovered how much I missed you. I miss what you didn’t give me. My childhood was not a good one and I often wondered where you were. I wondered if you thought about me sometimes. Did you care about what I was experiencing? I was so insecure growing up. At age twelve, I experienced my first heartbreak by a boy. I wanted to know where you were. I had so many questions to ask. I wanted to know what was wrong with boys. I thought I wasn’t pretty because the girl he dumped me for was much lighter than I was.

When I saw a picture of you for the first time, I was angry. I was angry because I realized where I got my dark complexion from. Of all the things you could have given me, you gave me the one thing I hated the most.

When I was fifteen, I started seeing a twenty-three-year-old man. I am grateful for the wisdom God placed in me at an early age. I knew I needed to get out of that situation or it would turn into something worse, so I did. When I was sixteen, I was violated by one of my mother’s boyfriends and it was a secret I held until I told my husband at age thirty-five. Later that year, I began dating the father of my firstborn son. Deep down, I knew I should not be with him, but he was light-skinned with green eyes and it made me feel special that I could attract someone who looked that way. At eighteen, I became pregnant and I was depressed. My light-skinned boyfriend with green eyes dumped me and my life was ruined, or so I thought. I told my mother, but she could not offer me any advice. I was on my own. In those moments, I mourned you most.

I remember the day I saw you for the first time.  I was nervous and excited and if it were not for my mother and husband, I would have opted out altogether. It had been six years since we first spoke. I was about twenty-six and by then I was married for six months. You met my husband that day and I could tell you liked him and surprisingly, he liked you too. When I saw you, I could tell you still had your own issues to deal with. I knew there was no way you were ready to be what I wanted. I said hello, shook your hand, smiled, and quietly walked away as I forgave you in my heart. As I walked away, I knew that day would begin my journey to healing from so many things.

When I was young, my mother told me how sad she was that you left her to raise me alone. She did not know how to handle that pain, so she inflicted it on me…I forgave her years ago. Did you know my mom passed away five years ago…Probably not?

Dad, I wrote this letter, not to make you feel sad or regretful, but to let you know, I love you and I am okay. I forgave you a long time ago. I respect you because you gave me life and I am grateful for it. I have absolutely no ill will against you. I want you to see God’s grace in my life because it is the only thing that has kept me all these years. I serve a GREAT God. I am hopeful and prayerful that the Lord would allow us to connect so I can learn who you really are, and you can learn who I really am. And I would love it if you could meet your ALL your grandchildren. Whatever God’s will for our relationship, I want you to know I love you. You were the best Dad that you could be to me at that time.

I love you with the same love Christ has shown me.
Your daughter,
Darlene
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Dear Heavenly Father,

You knew me before you formed me in my mother’s womb. When my mother and father forsook me, you took me up according to your word. You have been my comforter and my friend. You were the One I called on when I was being abused. You were the one I called on when I had to sleep outside on my front porch because my mother had an outburst. You have always been there for me. But Father, I realized I never had a conversation with you about my biological father. And this year, I realized it is time. I am so glad you were there for me when he wasn’t. I do not know what I would have done if it were not for you.

You have been my everything when I had absolutely nothing. You were the one who dried my tears when all I could do was cry. You were with me while I grew up in a halfway house with my mother and others, who had their own issues. You protected me when demons tried to kill me at night. You were the first man to tell me I was beautiful and fearfully and wonderfully made. You were the first man to love me unconditionally and forgave me when I made mistakes.

You loved me so much, that you sent me a wonderful husband; something that I did not expect. You sent me a man who loved me through the pain I did not know I was still carrying. He held me when I cried for no reason. He prayed over me at night while I slept, although he thought I was asleep. You sent me someone who told me I was beautiful. Thank you for giving me a husband with patience beyond anything I have known. You sent me a husband that loved on me and walked with me through my process. Most importantly, you sent me a man who loves me like Christ loves the Church.

Although the process was long, you healed me from my pain. You helped me to forgive so many people who broke my heart, especially as a young child. God, you allowed me to be a mother and raise all my children with ALL the love I did not receive. You were the only example of love that I knew. And I learned you were the only example of love I needed.

Father, I love you so much. Thank you for this journey that I would not trade for anything. It made me strong, wise, loving and softened my heart towards others who have experienced similar pain.

There are not enough words to express my gratitude. Thank you for loving me….now and FOREVER

Your daughter,
Darlene

Scriptures
Mark 11:35 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins

Psalm 27:10 – Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me

Psalm 139:14 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Ephesians 5:25-26 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her; to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word

 

Why I Started My Blog…

I had a childhood full of abuse and pain. As I got older, I dealt with many residual issues because of it. I did not trust people, I did not feel safe physically or emotionally, I got into wrong relationships intimately, socially and spiritually; I looked for love from people instead of receiving love from God, I did not like myself, I did not think I was pretty, I did not believe I was intelligent. When I got close to someone, it was easy for me to throw them away at the slightest notion that they would hurt me. I smiled through so many tears. I was depressed a lot and I felt I could trust NO ONE with my private struggles, secrets, and fears.

For years, I went to church as a completely broken person. Many times, I went to the altar for prayer and comfort, but many times felt nothing. I felt like I could not take one more thing; but ONE DAY, it all changed. One Sunday I remember there was an altar call
(I don’t remember what for). I pretty much ran down the aisle praying to God that he would use someone to help me, and that day He did.

A woman of God came up to me and the first words out of her mouth were, “God loves you.” I remember immediately breaking down and crying uncontrollably. It was the first time I heard those words and it was like God was whispering it to me and me only. And that day began my long journey to healing.

Several years after the Lord delivered me from many of my issues (I still have more 😊), I realized other women were experiencing some of the same pain I did. I learned women were broken and needed to talk, cry, scream and let it out. I learned many women sought healing, but did not know how to get it, where to get it, or how to let God in to receive it. Several women from my job, on the street, from almost anywhere and any age would begin talking to me and sharing their very personal stories. It took me a moment to catch on and realize God was using me as a listening ear. It was easy for me to listen because I knew the pain associated with not being able to talk and the pain of holding in secrets.

I started this blog to let women in pain know I LOVE them and I understand their pain. I know what it is like not to feel love, to go after love and receive hurt, not to trust and then smile through depression and tears while raising a child. I know what it is like to use relationships and material things to fill a void that only God can fill. I know what it is like to run from God out of fear that he will take things away; and I know what it is like to run back to him and then run away from him again.

I started this blog to tell women to drop the misconceptions of who you are supposed to be and just be who God created you to be. I created this blog to let women know you can be healed, but the choice is yours.

I started this blog to let women know that when you are finally healed, you will still be a work in progress…and IT IS OKAY. Just keep your faith and trust in Jesus. As we go through life we learn some things happen instantaneously and other times it is a process. It is the same with the healing journey. It is God’s will that we are healed, but the process is different for each individual. I started this blog to let you know I am here for you; whether it’s talking praying or just simply listening, I am here to help you through your journey as God sees fit for me to help.

Most importantly, I created this blog because God called me to. He decided to use me as a vessel to let you know He wants you to be healed. He has great plans for your life. His plans are so great that you cannot fathom them in your heart. Jesus is the ULTIMATE healer and I would not be healed if it was not for His love, grace, and patience towards me. And I want you to know he will extend the same love, grace, and patience towards you through your journey to healing.

I am grateful for the opportunity.

I truly love you all,
Darlene
#healedtospeak

God, I Did It Right This Time…

            Psalm 34:18The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

 

After being married for almost a year, I became pregnant with my first child. I was elated and a little scared at the same time because it had been ten years since that last time I was pregnant; but I was ready.

I thought to myself, this time I do not have to hide my belly; this time I can tell people; this time I am married and I have a man who truly loves me and is just as excited as I am about bringing a new life into the world. This time I am happy.

Then on Friday, November 23, 2007, it all changed. I went to work feeling good, but as the day progressed, I began to feel worse. I experienced cramping and later spotting. After I got home, I told my husband what I was experiencing and we reluctantly went to the emergency room.
We went to the hospital that evening and spoke with a cold and unsympathetic doctor who told us we were experiencing a miscarriage. I could not believe it and neither did my husband. Earlier that day, I had a feeling that it was happening but did not want to believe it so I prayed against it. Unfortunately, the miscarriage was becoming my truth.
How did things change so suddenly? This morning, I was happy with anticipation and by evening I had a feeling of grief so deep I could not share it enough to articulate. As the weekend slowly wore on, my heartbreak increased. Then, finally, it was over. I visited the doctor on Monday morning and there was no more baby. My brokenness was unbearable.
Then I thought, “God, I did it right this time.” I got married first and then had my baby. “Why is this happening?” “Did God love me?” If so, “Why did he allow this?” “Was I being punished for the things I did in my past?” “Is this punishment for having my first child out of wedlock?” “God Why?”
So…what do you do when you “do it right” and it still does not work out? You stand, trust and believe God’s plan for your life. Seems easy, but it is not especially when you are in the midst of your pain.  There are so many scriptures I could give, that give credence to this, but the one that comes to mind is one of my favorites which is Jeremiah 29:11, “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
A year later, I became pregnant again and we had our first son and two years after that, God gave me another baby that was part of His plan, but certainly not part of ours…lol…Praise God.

God gave me double for my pain and beauty for my ashes.  

The pain of losing a child never goes away, but I have peace knowing that I will see her at the appointed time. The bottom line is God is always in control even when things are out of control. He has a perfect plan that will always benefit us. However, it does not mean we will not experience pain to get to joy. But we still must trust the plan.

Love you all,

Darlene
#healedtospeak